Contributors. Foreword. Preface. Acknowledgements. 1. Plant conservation and biodiversity: the place of microorganisms; D.R. Given, et al. 2. Conservation of mycorrhizal fungal communities under elevated atmospheric CO2 and anthropogenic nitrogen deposition; L.M. Egerton-Warburton, et al. 3. Symbiotic nitrogen fixation between microorganisms and higher plants of natural ecosystems; J.S. Pate. 4. Bacterial associations with plants: beneficial, non N-fixing interactions; B. Gerhardson, S. Wright. 5. Ectomycorrhizas in plant communities; M.C. Brundrett, J.W.G. Cairney. 6. Arbuscular mycorrhizas in plant communities; M.C. Brundrett, L.K. Abbott. 7. Orchid conservation and mycorrhizal associations; A.L. Batty, et al. 8. Ericoid mycorrhizas in plant communities; K.W. Dixon, et al. 9. The diversity of plant pathogens and conservation: bacteria and fungi sensu lato; D.S. Ingram. 10. Ex situ conservation of microbial diversity; W. Gams. 11. Impact of fungal pathogens in natural forest ecosystems: a focus on Eucalypts; T. Burgess, M.J. Wingfield. 12. Microbial contaminants in plant tissue culture propagation; E. Bunn, B. Tan. 13. Phytosanitary considerations in species recovery programs; G.E.St.J. Hardy, K. Sivasithamparam. Index.
Plant conservation is increasingly recognised as an outstanding global priority, yet despite considerable efforts over the last few decades, the number of threatened species continues to rise. The practice of plant conservation has for too long been a rather hit-or-miss mixture of methods. While microorganisms have been recognised as a crucial and essential element in supporting the lifecycles of plant species, there has been limited recognition of the relationships between macro level conservation facilitating ecosystem functioning at the micro level.
This book addresses the role of microorganisms in conservation - both their support functions and deleterious roles in ecosystem processes and species survival. Importantly, a number of authors highlight how microbial diversity is, itself, now under threat from the many and pervasive influences of man. What is clear from this volume is that like many contemporary treatments of plant and animal conservation, the solution to mitigate the erosion of biodiversity is not simple. This book represents an attempt to bring to the fore the ecological underwriting provided by microorganisms.